The Top Five Most Expensive Photographs

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” 
― Ansel Adams

Ever wondered how expensive a photograph can be? Well, now it’s your chance to find out.

1. Andreas Gursky: Rhein II (1999)

Rhein II © Andreas Gursky

Rhein II © Andreas Gursky

Rhein II (1999) sold for $4.3 million in November 2011, the most ever paid for a photograph.

2. Cindy Sherman: Untitled #96 (1981)

Untitled # 96 © Cindy Sherman

Untitled # 96 © Cindy Sherman

Untitled #96 (1981) sold for $3.98 million in May 2011, and until November the same year it was the most expensive photograph ever sold.

3. Gilbert & George: For Her Majesty (1973)

For Her Majesty © Gilbert & George

For Her Majesty © Gilbert & George

For Her Majesty (1973) sold for $3.7 million in June 2008.

4. Jeff Wall: Dead Troops Talk (1992)

Dead Troops Talk © Jeff Wall

Dead Troops Talk © Jeff Wall

Dead Troops Talk (A vision after an ambush of the Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986) (1992) sold for 3.7 million in May 2012. The photograph shows an ambush of Russian soldiers during the 1988 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but it was actually shot in a studio, using performers, costumers, special effects, and makeup.

5. Andreas Gursky: 99 Cent II Diptychon (2001)

99 Cent II Diptychon © Andreas Gursky

99 Cent II Diptychon © Andreas Gursky

99 Cent II Diptychon (2001) sold for $3.3 million in February 2007. The photograph shows the inside of a supermarket and measures almost 7 by 11 feet. A second print sold for $2.48 million in November 2006, and a third one for $2.25 million in May 2006.

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2 thoughts on “The Top Five Most Expensive Photographs

  1. I enjoyed these. Not sure why, but #5 is my favourite. Perhaps to do with the colours and the scope of it. Might also have something to do with the fact that I love shopping!

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